Whole Lotta Fun

Posted: March 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Marketplace, Swampscott | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

We had a blast last evening at local food night at the Swampscott Whole Foods. There were about 15 vendors scattered through the store, everything from salsa and cheese to jewelry and body lotion. Everyone we met was friendly and generous with their samples; one woman was even baking cookies in a tabletop oven.

Our pick for best find was LaMarissa’s Salsa, the freshest tasting, most delicious we’ve tasted in a long time—maybe ever. It’s a fairly smooth salsa with just the right amount of cilantro and heat. Marissa Salomon is a Nahant resident and began the company making the salsa in her home kitchen.

Today, it’s made in small batches in Springfield and sold in seven Whole Foods stores (in the produce section on ice, but it lasts 30 days in the fridge). Marissa was handing out samples last night, along with a recipe for Baja fish tacos we plan to try this weekend. The recipe is also on her site.

Another favorite of the evening was a new aged goat cheese from Vermont Butter & Cheese, a French-style crottin called Bijou. It’s packed in a poplar disk and covered with perforated plastic, forming a mini cheese cave. That’s right—we said a cheese cave in your fridge. The Bijou changes in taste and texture as it ages: those who like stinkier cheese should pick a package that is nearing its sell-by date and store for a few weeks. If you prefer less tang, buy the cheese farthest away from the sell-by.

Other products we sampled included heavenly milk from High Lawn Farm in Lee, (the fat-free tastes like 2%, and the cream is pasteurized rather than ultra pasteurized), fabulous honey from Crystal’s All-Natural in Billerica, zesty salsa from Marblehead’s Pam’s Black Bean Salsa, salmon and smoked trout from Ducktrap River of Maine, and triple chocolate chunk cookies from Immaculate Baking Co. in Wakefield (refrigerated dough to bake at home).

Last but not least, we loved the sugar cookies from Lynn-based Starlight Creatives. They proved the exception to the rule that the prettier the cookie, the worse it tastes. These are rich and buttery along with being gorgeous. What more can you ask for?


Swampscott Eatery: From Deli to Flatbread?

Posted: March 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Marblehead, Swampscott | Tags: , | No Comments »

Taking advantage of the warm weather this weekend, we took a Junior Dish member out biking along Lynn Shore Drive and noticed this sign in the window the Manhattan Sandwich Company’s Swampscott storefront. Their Web site had said that this location was “closed for the season,” but it now looks like they’ve left Swampscott for good.

Thankfully, the Marblehead location remains in business, because we don’t know what we’d do if we couldn’t satisfy our occasional craving for a Mickey’s #7 (Lightly toasted bread with turkey breast, coleslaw, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing). And not only does the sandwich shop occupy the old Munchie’s location in the Village Plaza, the Boston Club (A triple decker of roast beef, turkey breast, imported ham, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing) is quite a respectable replacement for the erstwhile José Jr.

While we do know that a Piadina is an Italian flatbread, we don’t know anything about the incoming restaurant, so we’d love to hear from you if you do. That strip of Humphrey Street can be tough with all the competition, so we wish them luck and look forward to trying a Piadina.

Manhattan Sandwich Company
1 Bessom Street, Marblehead